When it comes to generating powerful ad campaigns, nothing beats Google Ads (formerly AdWords). The search engine’s proprietary PPC platform gives businesses a plethora of powerful tools to ensure their online ads are seen by the right people in order to generate leads and customers.

While Google Ads is stellar on its own, it can be made even better through call tracking software. We’ll talk about all the powerful benefits of Google Ads and how integrating call tracking into your PPC optimization strategy can give you even more insights to improve your paid performance.

What Is Google Ads?

Google Ads is the leading platform for launching paid ad campaigns across the Web. It’s relatively easy to use and you only have to pay when someone clicks (depending on bid type) on your ad, which is based on your keyword’s cost per click (CPC).

But the power of Ads extends well beyond creating keyword targeted ads. You’re also able to gain valuable insight into how well your ad campaigns are performing over time. When armed with Ads, you can see firsthand which keywords are converting, as well as the performance of your ad amongst various demographics, locations, and more. This data can be very helpful in deciding how to optimize Ads campaigns going forward.

A few other notable features of Google Ads include:

  • Google Forwarding Numbers & Click to call (CTC) – While many paid ads direct users to websites when they’re clicked, Ads also offers a feature called “click to call” that directly dials a business’s phone number once the ad is clicked. This is obviously extremely useful on mobile devices — a user can simply click on a paid ad and they’ll instantly be connected to the business they’re researching. You can use call extensions to trigger CTC either through standard search ads or call-only ads (which can increase the amount of phone calls your business receives). Ads is also able to track CTC ads in its interface the same way it tracks standard pay-per-click campaigns so you can see in real time which ads are driving phone calls. This Google Ads feature also allows you to determine how long a phone call needs to be in order to have it counted as a conversion — in other words, you’re able to track phone calls as conversions per your own parameters. With a little bit of coding, Ads can also track phone calls resulting from a visit to your site and not just from your ads.
  • Mobile and desktop insight – Speaking of mobile, did we mention how mobile is the fastest-growing segment of digital advertising? With mobile Ads, you’re able to reach your target customer in many different ways, such as through app or mobile browser ads. That being said, it’s important to distinguish mobile and desktop users when reporting on your PPC campaigns in order to better optimize your ads for specific audiences. On top of CTC reporting, Google Ads allows you to track the success of your mobile ads. Just click on the “Segment” button when viewing your campaigns and you’ll be able to see important data like CTR, conversion rates and impressions segmented by device. Again, this information is incredibly helpful when creating ad campaigns across various devices.
  • General reporting – In addition to CTC and device segmented reporting, Ads allows users to really hone in on key data in order to get a better grasp of their audience and which ads resonate the most. Businesses can drill down to see important information such as which search terms are triggering your ad to appear, your ad’s position in the SERPs, CTR, conversion rate and impressions, among other factors. All of this information allows you to get a better idea of which ads are delivering the best performance to better optimize your campaigns for success.

What Can Call Tracking Do for PPC?

In a way, Ads already comes with its own version of call tracking: Google forwarding numbers. As we’ve discussed, this handy feature allows you to track phone calls as conversions and therefore gain a better understanding of your PPC strategy’s impact. If you want to better track the success of your PPC campaigns, Google will assign each ad a unique phone number (known as a “forwarding number”) that’s linked to your business in order for you to gain valuable insights such as caller location, the start and end time of the phone call, and whether the call was connected to your business. You’ll also be able to see broader information such as impressions and the number of phone calls received through your forwarding numbers, even if users don’t click on your ad and instead dial your forwarding number directly.

However, there are some limitations on Google Ads’ call tracking features. For one, each Google-generated phone number is the property of Google and cannot be used anywhere except on Google ads. Therefore, you won’t be able to track these phone numbers through other search engines like Bing and Yahoo or any social media platforms such as Facebook. Another limitation is that Google doesn’t offer Ads CTC on Display Network ads, meaning you can’t drive calls directly from image-based ads. These blindspots mean you may not be getting as much data as you’d like about the success of your PPC strategy — and your lead quality as a whole.

If you want to get a bigger picture of which PPC ads are driving phone calls, implementing third-party call tracking software may be a great solution for you. By pairing call tracking software with Ads’ already powerful features, you can gather more comprehensive data to better analyze and optimize your campaigns for success.

The features of call tracking are abundant, but some of the most important aspects include:

  • Call recording. If you’re not listening to what your customers have to say, it’s impossible to have an accurate idea of exactly what they’re looking for. This is a powerful tool that can be used to analyze conversations between your sales staff and callers, allowing you to better qualify leads. It allows you to record phone calls and listen to and evaluate which PPC campaigns are resulting in the most valuable interactions for your business.
  • Dynamic number insertion. In order to better track each person who discovers your business online, each website visitor will be assigned a random phone number that’s pulled from a larger pool of numbers that’s unique to your company. Known as “dynamic number insertion,” this powerful feature allows you to choose to have certain numbers displayed on certain sources — such as paid Google Ads ads — in order to better track the most successful sources of traffic and conversions. Unlike Ads’ own dynamic call forwarding numbers, call tracking’s dynamic numbers can be used outside of Ads (like on Yelp or Facebook) to allow for a greater understanding of your overall paid strategy.
  • Campaign level tracking. Campaign level tracking allows you to see which PPC campaigns are driving the most phone calls by assigning a unique phone number to each campaign. This can easily open many doors for businesses looking to test which campaigns are performing better over time and driving the most clicks and conversions. For example, you can place one unique number on your paid Yelp ads and another on your paid Facebook ads and compare their performance against each other to better allocate your ad spend.
  • Keyword level tracking. Keyword level call tracking allows you to actually see which keywords are resulting in phone calls and conversions for your business. When your ad is triggered through one of your keywords or keyword phrases, that person will see a unique phone number pulled from your dynamic number pool the entire time they’re on your website. Once that person exits your site, that number is freed up for another person to use, allowing you to accurately track each person who visits your site and ultimately calls your business. By seeing which keywords are driving phone calls, you’ll be able to better optimize your PPC campaigns for success.
  • Landing page success tracking. This is more or less a variation of dynamic number insertion, but call tracking allows businesses to evaluate the success of their landing pages. Traditionally, people who are browsing the Web will be taken to a landing page if they click on your ad. With call tracking software in place, they’ll see a dynamic phone number drawn from your pool of numbers. This phone number will be displayed on their screen for the duration of their visit to your site, even if they navigate away from that initial landing page, allowing you to better track their online journey. By integrating dynamic number insertion with landing pages, you’ll have a better grasp of which landing pages are the most effective at generating leads for your business.

Using Call Tracking to Optimize PPC Campaigns

The many features of call tracking allows businesses to get a better idea of where to spend their ad dollars. How so? If you know where your calls are coming from, you can better allocate your budget to improve ROI. By seeing firsthand which keywords, sources and ads are generating the most interest, you’ll have a better idea of which PPC campaigns deliver the greatest success for your business. We even offer a Google Ads Call Tracking integration to make things easier for you.

Interested in learning more? Contact CallRail today to learn more about how Google Ads and call tracking go hand in hand.

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